Gauguin in Aotearoa - Heimler and Proc
11 May - 9 June 2019
Since their arrival in here in 2010 Gabriel and Anna’s exhibitons have always been imaginative, intellectually challenging, stimulating, abounding with symbolism and complex imagery and topped with dashes of humour.These traits are taken a step deeper with ‘Gauguin in Aotearoa’ where the audience is challenged to understand something of Gauguin’s time in Tahiti and then reach their own conclusions as Heimler and Proc draw parallels in Aotearoa.
Gauguin considered himself a synthetist, a term used to separate himself and like minded artists from the impressionists.Synthetist artists aimed to synthesize three features: 1) The outward appearance of natural forms.2) The artist’s feelings about their subject.3) The purity of the aesthetic considerations of line, colour and form. Already we can see that these ideas have echoes in the art of Heimler and Proc, who found links with Gauguin not only in similarities between their artistic expressions, but also could see in themselves a modern day parallel between their stories. Gauguin removed himself from the mainstream of the art world in Europe, to escape everything he called ‘artificial and conventional’ Heimler and Proc too removed themselves from the Berlin art scene to explore and be inspired to new directions in Aotearoa New Zealand. And as Gauguin came to be fascinated by the Tahitians and defined by his paintings of them, so Gabriel and Anna have shown a deep interest in New Zealand cultural diversity and Maori culture. So we can understand why in one of the paintings in this series, they have shown themselves in conversation with Gauguin.
When Gauguin was en route to Tahiti, he stopped over in Auckland for 10 days. This brief and largely forgotten visit, where he visited the Auckland Museum and made sketches of Maori taonga such as tikis and treasure boxes, is the starting point, the connection between Gauguin and Heimler and Proc, the spark, for this exhibition So we are brought to the painting themselves. Gauguin has been re-imagined. Instead of only the Tahiitans he painted, these are populated with a cultural diverse mix of New Zealanders, but with a loud acknowledgement of Maori culture. Gauguin has been modernised, updated to reflect the Aotearoa New Zealand as it is now.